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Currently people in poverty pay a premium for goods and services such as energy, insurance and credit.  This is known as the poverty premium.  Fair by Design (FBD) has a bold ambition to remove this ‘poverty premium’ and is looking for a  Head of External Affairs to help.  Fair by Design is managed by  Barrow Cadbury Trust.

FBD is looking for a talented individual with an outstanding track record of successfully delivering impactful communications and public affairs strategies to join its team.  Using your skills and experience you will help Fair by Design to achieve its mission of eliminating the poverty premium by ensuring communications are persuasive and effective and that messages are heard by policymakers and those in power.

How to apply and more information 

Deadline for applications: 8am on Monday 19 September 2022.  

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held on Friday 23 September 2022 at BCT offices at The Foundry, 17 Oval Way, London SE11 5RR.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration, which British Future is the secretariat for, has released a new report, Building stronger communities in post-pandemic Britain’. 

This report details the findings from the APPG’s second inquiry into social connection during the Covid-19 crisis, which examined in detail the role that business and the voluntary sector played in improving social integration throughout the pandemic. It asks what lessons we can learn in the long term and makes a series of recommendations to government, business, and the voluntary sector to help build on the upsurge in new volunteers seen over lockdown, and to retain the increased role played by businesses in supporting their local communities.

During the pandemic year, and in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, the Trust started to look into and reflect on the origins of our endowment. In July 2020 I posted a blog about this and about the involvement of the Cadbury company with plantations in São Tomé and Príncipe which deployed (as we then thought) indentured labour.  Read the blog.

Towards the end of 2020 we found other material and set about reading what was available more deeply. In our efforts to find out more we discovered a more complex and troubling story. It is clear that our endowment, which was established by Barrow and Geraldine Southall Cadbury in 1920 and originally came from the Cadbury Brothers chocolate and cocoa business in the 19th and early 20th century, was not free from labour exploitation. Our research has found that Angolan people were enslaved on cocoa plantations in São Tomé and Príncipe at the end of the 19th century. The company was alerted to this at the latest in 1901. An account of what followed can be found in the document. What is clear to us is that this response was well intentioned but slow and that the company continued to profit from this extreme form of exploitation for around a further eight years until they organised a boycott by British and some European cocoa manufacturers.

The Board and Executive Team of the Trust recognise the extreme pain and damage done to those people, who were forcibly exploited, taken from their homelands, separated from their children, and many of whom died from their appalling conditions.

We apologise unreservedly for this historic injustice and renew our commitment to deepen our engagement with modern day racial inequality across all of our work.

Erica Cadbury, Chair

1st July 2021

Charity think tank and consultancy New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) have published new research on the State of the Sector as the crisis hit.

Dan Corry, CEO at NPC comments:

“Charities are in crisis. Beyond the immediate funding shortfall, the economic and social changes brought about by Covid-19 will create a raft of new challenges that charity leaders will have to grapple with, from big questions around governance and longer-term funding models, to how to equip themselves to continue delivering services. But the crisis also gives us great opportunities. We don’t want or need to go back to all the ways we did things in the past. How radical we are will depend upon our appetite for bold change. Our research captures our sector in the final few months of calm before the storm, offering insight into its strengths, weaknesses, challenges and risks.”

Among the key findings is an over-reliance on government contracts which could leave charities vulnerable to austerity 2.0, with the issue compounded by the fact many subsidise these contracts with income from other sources, such as public fundraising which has all but collapsed.

Charities are getting better at digital but appear overconfident in their ability to use data. There is also a disconnect between words and deeds on user-involvement, with many praising when prompted but few mentioning it independently.

Tom Collinge, Policy Manager comments:

“Our research highlights of the issues charities were struggling with before the crisis, many of which will become critical now. It paints a picture of a broad and complex sector, wrestling with its relationship with government, funding challenges, technological change and its own diversity and representativeness.

We hope that understanding the trajectory the sector has been on since 2017, funders, philanthropists and policymakers will be more able to understand what happens in the crisis and help charities adapt to the new challenges they face, so they can keep serving the people who need them more than ever.”

State of the Sector 2020 captures the views of charity leaders at moments of critical importance, so that philanthropists, funders and policy makers can best support and use the power of charity to help people most in need and strengthen our civil society more broadly. For the second half of 2020, NPC will re-orient the programme to research the key challenges the charity sector is likely to be facing over the medium term due to the Covid-19 pandemic, produce solutions, and advocate for change and support.

The work was funded by Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, PwC, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Odgers Berndtson and the NPC Supporters Circle.

A commitment to prison reform was an enduring focus of Barrow and Geraldine Cadbury’s work.  As a trust, we have continued that commitment through the decades.  In our centenary year Barrow Cadbury Trust is asking some of our colleagues and partners to write blogs for us.  This is the fourth blog of 2020 (and  the first with a Covid 19 perspective).   Writing about the current situation in prisons this one is by Juliet Lyon CBE, chair  of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody and  former Prison Reform Trust Director. 

To celebrate the Barrow Cadbury Trust’s steadfast one hundred years of social justice, this was to be a blog about prison reform – a cause so generously supported and well understood by the Trust throughout its history. Instead it is a call to Government to save lives.

I would have covered the painstaking steps taken since the Woolf report – appropriate since the publication of this blog, 1st April, coincides with the start of the disturbances at Strangeways prison thirty years ago. I could have celebrated the tremendous drop of over 70% in child imprisonment and the corresponding reduction in youth crime in recent years. Locking up children is the surest way to grow the adult prison population of the future. I could have welcomed, and documented, a growing acknowledgement that prison should not be used as a place of safety for vulnerable people who are mentally ill or those with learning disabilities and all forms of neurodiversity.

I could have bitterly regretted the swingeing budget cuts that put paid to access to justice and legal aid; stripped the prison service of over 30% of some of its most experienced staff and served to fuel a tragic rise in violence and suicide in custody. Recorded incidents of self-harm reached a staggering 61,461 in the year to September 2019. And I could have explored what needs to be done to reform the criminal, and wider social, justice system to support victims, people who offend, families, prison staff and volunteers in our least visible, most neglected, public service.

Instead when the lives of people in custody and the staff who look after them are at risk, this blog is about survival, leadership and accountability. As Covid-19 spreads, Ministers and officials are faced with some of the most difficult decisions they have ever had to make about balance of risk and the best ways to keep people safe.

To meet its human rights obligation to take active steps to protect lives, Government must embark without further delay on, and give a clear public explanation for, a programme of planned prison releases. This should be done on a cohort by cohort, case by case basis. People who should be considered for immediate safe release include those near the end of their sentences; those serving short sentences; or held on remand, for non-violent crimes; those recalled for technical breach of licence; those who are elderly often with co-morbid health conditions; pregnant women and mothers and babies – where an important start is at last being made. For individuals approved for, but still awaiting, transfer from prison to psychiatric care (a comparatively small group but in high need and one that inevitably makes for disproportionate calls on staff time) this work should be expedited.

The priority now is to reserve prison for serious and violent offenders so that the public is not put at risk and hard-pressed prison governors and staff have the physical space and time to hold those individuals safely and securely. In the context of a global pandemic, countries worldwide from South Korea and Iran to the US and Canada, from Holland to Ireland and Northern Ireland have already released thousands of prisoners variously on a temporary, compassionate or executive basis.

Meanwhile the prison service in England and Wales has made commendable and rapid moves to improve, amongst other things, hygiene and cleanliness, communication with prisoners and phone contact with families to mitigate against further isolation and distress. Emergency use of other secure environments is being explored. Notwithstanding these important steps, in an unprecedented public health crisis it is not fair or proportionate to condemn prisoners, and staff responsible for them, to try to survive in insanitary, overcrowded institutions devoid of independent oversight.

Prison and family charities, supported by the Barrow Cadbury Trust and other charitable foundations are receiving heartfelt pleas for help. At the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody we have just received two such requests:

‘My husband is on remand we need help. We are all very worried. Fears of loosing our loved ones with out seeing them. Prisoners are dying because of the virus, who can guarantee that my husband will be safe. Trials not happening, nobody knows when this all will happen and finish. Please help’

‘We want them home we are all alone please help us to be with our family. We are all locked down. Please help please raise this issue in the parliament’. 

People are sent to prison to lose their liberty not their lives. We look to Government Ministers to exercise moral leadership, to meet their human rights obligations and to accept full responsibility for the lives of people held in state custody.







The trustees and staff of the Barrow Cadbury Trust would like to thank Binita Mehta-Parmar for her service on our Board for more than three years.  Binita has been an active trustee with particular strengths in communications, local government, and migration and race issues, all of which have been a tremendous help to our work.

Although we are sorry to see her go, we will be staying in close touch with her as the reason for her resignation is a happy one.  Binita has been appointed to a key role at one of our partners, More In Common, and this poses too great a conflict of interest for her to continue on the Board.  On behalf of us all I congratulate Binita on this move and look forward to seeing her in her new role.  Thank you, Binita.

Erica Cadbury
Chair of Trustees

The collapse of the payday loan industry in the UK has led to more people turning to their friends and family for financial support, a new report The Lived Experience of Declined Payday Loan Applicants has revealed.

At their height in 2013 payday loan companies were lending £2.5bn billion to 1.7m consumers in the UK. These numbers fell to £1.1bn and 800,000 consumers in 2016 following the introduction of new regulations by the Financial Conduct Authority. Market leader Wonga went into administration earlier this year, Money Shop stopped issuing cash loans and other payday firms are also experiencing financial difficulties.

Now new research, based on interviews with 80 former payday loan borrowers across the country, has revealed where people who used to borrow from payday companies are getting access to cash.

The most common source of funds has proved to be ‘friends and family’ – with more than a third of those interviewed saying that after failing to access a payday loan, they instead borrowed money from someone they know.

Other actions taken by those declined credit from payday companies included cutting back spending in other areas in order to afford the item they wanted; going without the purchase they had intended to make; or seeking credit from another source. Tellingly, very few of the interviewees were aware of ethical credit alternatives, and only one person had any savings to fill back on.

The report, The Lived Experience of Declined Payday Loan Applicants, outlines a number of recommendations for action by policy makers:

  • Greater investment in developing products and the marketing of social and ethical alternatives
  • Increased regulatory activity to tackle a two-tier payday loans industry so that all lenders are adhering to the FCA rules.
  • Organisations to work together to prevent those with short term cash flow issues from suffering hardship and seeking credit
  • Government, regulators and the third sector to scope the feasibility of a UK No Interest Loans Scheme for those unable to afford credit options even from social lenders
  • Guidance on what ‘good practice’ looks like for friends and family lending
  • For payday lenders to help improve the financial health of customers and potential customers by helping them to rebuild credit scores
  • Guidelines for debt advice charities on specific courses of action for declined payday applicants




Spotlight – a new podcast from Revolving Doors Agency – brings together Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) with people with lived experience to demonstrate the need for joint action on mental ill health, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, domestic abuse and inequalities facing young adults.

The podcast showcases five PCCs making a real difference to people’s lives by working creatively at a local level, encouraging and strengthening partnerships, linking with health and other community-based services.

Contributors to the podcast include:

  • PCC for West Midlands, David Jamieson, on Heroin Assisted Therapy, a public health approach to reducing substance misuse related offences;
  • PCC for Kent, Matthew Scott, on improving support for people with mental ill health when they come into contact with the police;
  • PCC for Northumbria, Dame Vera Baird, on diversionary support pathway and a whole system approach across six Northeast forces to transform responses to domestic abuse.
  • PCC for Durham, Ron Hogg, on the use of deferred prosecutions for young adults;
  • PCC for Cambridgeshire, Jason Ablewhite, reducing homelessness and developing clearer housing pathways for people in the criminal justice system;
  • Revolving Doors Agency’s Forum members, Sat and Ally.

Christina Marriott, Chief Executive, Revolving Doors Agency said: “PCCs sit on a fault line of a number of different systems and budgets. This offers them a real opportunity to forge and drive new local partnerships, for example across criminal justice, health and housing. Effective partnerships should focus on preventing the revolving door – ensuring people don’t fall through gaps in services or end up reaching crisis point before they get help.

Revolving Doors is a member of the Transition to Adulthood Alliance – a coalition of organisations brought together by the Barrow Cadbury Trust to develop and promote evidence of effective policy and practice for young adults at all stages of the criminal justice system.

Join the discussion on twitter, using the hashtag #PCCspotlight and RDA’s handle @RevDoors.


The Government’s proposed Brexit deal disregards the views of many young people who want to maintain existing freedom of movement and trade arrangements, says a new LSE report commissioned by the APPG on a Better Brexit for Young People and launched today at a Common Futures Forum – spearheaded by My Life My Say.  The Common Futures Forum will draw on the views of 200 young people from across Europe who will be present throughout the day’s event. Speakers from across the business, political and third sector will join social media influencers, public figures and celebrities to discuss their vision for the future of Britain.

The report “Building Bridges: A Youth Vision for a Common Future after Brexit” reflects widespread and deepening discontent amongst young people over what they consider to be the prioritisation of older generations in the negotiations.  Most importantly, many British youth believe that the aggressive political debate conducted mainly between political elites will only damage any prospects for positive and productive negotiations. The results show the need for a unifying, pragmatic, bridge-building Brexit.

In a far reaching study taking into account the views of over 1400 young people between July and November 2018, the LSE has found that:

  • Young people urgently desire a new kind of politics to build bridges over the many divisions of Brexit and are frustrated by the domination of Westminster elites in the current Brexit debate
  • Young people have strongly held opinions on Brexit which they believe have been ignored across the UK and Europe during the process of the negotiations
  • There is increasing frustration and resentment among young people who believe that the priorities of older generations have yet again been the driving forces behind the Brexit process
  • The young people in the study believe that the political elite are fostering an aggressive political debate which is damaging prospects for positive and productive political relationships both inside the UK and with the EU
  • Young people fear an age of intolerance in the aftermath of Brexit and want a positive commitment from politicians to protect diversity and inclusion
  • Young people share a common cosmopolitan value system that is at odds with the populism unleashed by the Brexit vote
  • Young people have been emboldened by the Brexit process and define themselves as “citizens with rights” and expect to be consulted by political leaders

Commenting on the report Stephen Kinnock MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on a Better Brexit for Young People, said:

“It’s plain to see that the Brexit negotiations have failed to take account of the views of young people both in Britain and Europe. Young people are tired of the acrimonious political debates that have dominated over the past two years and desire a future that is built on co-operation and consensus.

Whilst their sense of frustration and even anger about the state of our politics is perfectly justified and understandable, we must be constructive. The purpose of the CFF is to kick-start the process of transforming young people’s feelings of resentment and alienation into a more productive commitment to listen, understand, engage, and find the common ground together, by building bridges and dialogue across generations and communities.

As we approach March 2019 it is essential that the views of young people are heard and that they have the opportunity to influence the course of events.”


Barrow Cadbury Trust (BCT) welcomes the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) report “Tackling Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System: 2018 Update” one year on from the launch of the landmark Lammy Review.  The Government should be praised for its commitment to this agenda and its willingness to be transparent regarding its intentions to reduce BAME disproportionality in the justice system.

BCT is committed to developing the criminal justice system. Its view is that the criminal justice system was, and remains, principally designed to respond to crimes committed by men. Although a separate approach to children has been successfully developed over time, the system still fails to adequately account for the distinct needs and contexts of particular groups in society, such as young adults, women and those from Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. Changes are needed in policy and practice. To achieve this, a better evidence base of where the system is failing, and what can be done to change it, is required. By funding and disseminating research, policy and good practice, and by campaigning with others for change, the Trust seeks to influence the organisations that comprise the criminal justice system to implement the evidence, improve the way that services are designed, and support it to achieve better social and economic outcomes.

BCT has a particular focus, across all its programmes, on racial justice and to this end uses its resources, and works in partnership with others, to reduce ethnic and faith-based inequalities. One current example of this is its co-convening of the Funders for Race Equality Alliance, which has taken a keen interest in the Lammy Review and the Race Disparity Audit. BCT supports Equal (formerly the Young Review), the chair of Equal, Iqbal Wahhab OBE, has commented here on the 2018 Update report.  BCT echoes the response by Equal and encourages the MoJ to involve Equal in its policy development.  We share Equal’s concerns that the Secure Schools development and the obligations set out in the Equality Act and Public Sector Equality Duty are not referenced in the 2018 Update.

Data-driven action

BCT was particularly pleased by MoJ’s response to the collection and analysis of data as David Lammy MP says, ‘data provides insight, insight leads to action’. Greater granularity of the broad BAME category is important and MoJ will benefit from the 18+1 categorisation system and by extending the Relative Rate Index analysis.

Maturity and young adults

The creation of a dedicated youth disproportionality team is a positive development and with its remit to look at a child’s experiences before engagement with the police will provide significant insight into the circumstances that create offending behaviour.  However, the Trust has long argued through its support of the Transition to Adulthood campaign that creating a distinct approach for 18 to 25 year olds in the justice system.  We urge the Government to build on the experiences of the youth disproportion team will and create a dedicated team for young adults.

Recommendation 17 in the Lammy Review called for the MoJ to develop a method to assess the maturity of offenders.  We are pleased to read that the maturity assessment tool following a successful pilot will be rolled out across prisons and will be used by probation staff, but are very concerned that changes in the system, low morale and the dangerous state of some of our prisons will limit the use and effectiveness of the tool.  The MoJ should go on to extend youth justice provisions to young adults who are assessed as having low maturity as advocated by David Lammy MP.

BCT is supporting The University of Sheffield to conduct an analysis of the trends in reducing young adults in the criminal justice system. The work will identify key changes in the operation of the criminal justice system over a 10 year period, enabling a timeline of key events to be plotted against the trends in outcomes. Further analysis of the general trends will provide a nuanced narrative on gender ethnicity and geographic area. The work is due for publication in spring 2019 and we look forward to discussing its conclusions, and action to further reduce engagement, with MoJ colleagues.

Women, faith groups and Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

As evidenced in the Prison Reform Trust report ‘Counted Out: Black, Asian and minority ethnic women in the criminal justice system’, Black women are more likely to be remanded or sentenced to custody and are more likely to be sole parents when imprisoned.  The recent Muslim Hands report ‘Invisibility – Female, Muslim, Imprisoned’ which was supported by BCT shows the acute difficulties of Muslim women re-entering local communities following custody. We encourage the judiciary, MoJ and HMPPS to review the experiences of BAME and minority faith women and make good on their ambition to develop culturally informed practice.  The BAME voluntary sector has undisputed expertise in supporting these groups of women but is widely recognised to be starved of funds.  Commissioning agencies must ensure that local and national BAME organisations supporting those in the criminal justice system are properly supported both independently and through genuine partnerships with larger voluntary, contracted service delivery providers and statutory organisations.

BCT welcomes the long overdue focus on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people in the justice system, but intent is not enough – the system will be judged on outcomes. To this end, we hope that the cross sector working group in the MoJ vigorously pursues a better understanding of the experiences of Gypsies, Roma and Traveller communities. We encourage the MoJ to work with relevant support groups when developing the HMPPS action plan and develop regular engagement forums for candid dialogue.

BCT has been working with a range of Muslim groups to understand the experiences on Muslims in the CJS and the impact the CJS has on the family and wider Muslim community.  Often a counter-terrorism narrative is mentioned when discussing Muslims in the CJS: less than 1% of Muslims are in custody for terrorism offences, but prisoners consistently report a widely-held assumption the prison system treats them as potential extremists. These prejudicial assumption need to be addressed and the BCT has worked with Muslim Hands, Arooj, Maslaha and others to develop a culturally competent narrative with faith and community used to support offenders in custody and the community from further offending.  We plan to hold a conference on this issue this summer.

Criminal Records

An area in which urgent action is needed is the current criminal records regime. Lammy Review recommendation 35 is very clear and relates to the criminal records regime and the cost of unemployment among ex-offenders, but we have not seen any evidence of action.  If the MoJ is not going to pursue this recommendation it should clearly articulate why not.  However BCT encourages the MoJ to reassess its response and take into account the findings from Baroness McGregor Smith’s review on Race in the Workplace.

Future action

BCT encourages the MoJ to commit to a yearly update report to maintain momentum and hold MoJ staff to account for progress. The MoJ also needs to give their staff the freedom to identify disparity and provide them with the tools for reform. Here are some questions and ideas for future development the MoJ and the Government to consider:

  • Is there a role for the Cabinet Office to develop good practice advice and support for voluntary membership oversight bodies? The Lammy Review highlighted the importance of scrutiny and oversight to reduce disproportionality.  Voluntary membership oversight bodies are very often highly localised and variable in effectiveness whether they monitor police stop and search or are located in prisons with peer members overseeing Incentive and Earned Privilege decisions.
  • Will the MoJ (and all Government departments) future proof IT builds from inception through to testing and development to consider equalities and reduce disproportionate outcomes?  This is especially important as algorithms and machine learning increasingly take on decision making functions in criminal justice and there is a very significant risk that existing disparities will be hard-wired into machine learning.
  • How will the MoJ track new initiatives in the justice system and ensure they do not lead to more disproportionality? For example what impact will the revised prison categorisation system have on BAME people in custody?
  • In section 23 of the 2018 Update report the Government reports in engagement with countries on progress to address racial disparity.  Will the Government share the innovative thinking it has been presented with and ensure that it influences future policy development?

BCT is committed to reducing the disproportionate number of BAME people in the CJS.  We will continue to work with Equal and others to provide advice and support to Government and the MoJ on this urgent social issue.